Submansio XXVIII – Luna
First stop in modern Liguria, a region most popular for its beaches and cuisine. Liguria is a narrow strip of land bordered by France, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany, which was successively dominated by the Roman, the Byzantines, the Lombards and the Franks. The March of Genoa or Eastern Liguria was created in 961 by Emperor Otto I.
There was a discrepancy among ancient authors as to whether Luni was an Etruscan or a Ligurian city; perhaps due to its geographical location right at the border. Founded by the Romans in 177 BC, Luni (Luna in latin) was a military stronghold for the campaigns against the Ligurian tribes. In 109 BC it was connected to Rome by the Via Aemilia Scauri, rebuilt in the 2nd century AD as the Via Aurelia.
The city flourished when exploitation of white marble quarries began in the 1st century BC in the Apuan Alps, the same now known as Carrara marble, and which was considered equal, if not superior in quality, to the finest Greek marbles. It was very extensively employed, as may still be seen in the Pantheon, the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, and the buildings of Luna itself.
The period of the final decay of Luna is uncertain. It was taken and plundered by the Normans in 857, but was probably still in existence then since Sigeric refers to it as a stage from Rome to Canterbury.